Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Curlers create beach waves or silky, shiny curls in any hair type. Most hair curlers work by heat and produce great results in seconds. For short or thin hair, little heat is suitable. For long or thick hair, the temperature is adjusted higher accordingly. A special ceramic coating on the rods protects the hair strands from damage.

Our curler test 2022 should help you choose the best curler for you. A comparison of automatic curlers, curling irons, curlers with 3 barrels, curlers with rotating brushes and curlers without heat will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each product. This should make your purchase decision easier.




Summary

  • The curler is a wand-like and usually electric device for curling strands of hair. Depending on the diameter of the wand, it creates small or large curls.
  • Curling irons usually work with heat. High temperatures extract moisture from the hair and thus bring it into a twisted shape.
  • There are basically 5 different types of hair curlers: the classic curling iron, the automatic curler, the wave iron, the hot air brush and the curler. All types are available in different sizes and price ranges.

The Best Curler: Our Choices

Curlers: Buying and evaluation criteria

Comparing different curlers is not always easy due to the large number of manufacturers and products. The following criteria are suitable for comparing curlers:

The individual aspects are explained in more detail below.

Temperature control

Curlers have different temperature settings up to 230 °C. These can either be individually regulated or set by heat levels. These can either be regulated individually or set by heat levels. The “ideal temperature” cannot be determined across the board. It depends on the manufacturer and the thickness of your hair. For thin hair, use little heat so that it does not burn. Depending on the product, temperatures of up to 170 °C are recommended. For normal or thick hair, you can use a higher heat level.

Use low heat for thin hair and higher temperatures for thicker hair.

Do you have to be quick in the morning or do you often have little time for styling? Make sure your curler doesn’t take too long to heat up. Many products heat up quickly and are ready to use in 30 to 60 seconds.

Some curlers have a built-in heat shut-off function. This protects against possible fires in the home if the curler gets too hot. If you accidentally forget to turn it off, this reduces the risk.

Cable or battery

To avoid burning yourself on the curler and to use it optimally, the cable should not be too short. The length depends on the layout of your home. Some products are specified with cables of up to 3 metres. This is sufficient in most cases.

Alternatives are curlers without cables that are powered by a rechargeable battery. Some have a battery life of up to 60 minutes and need to be recharged for about 3 hours after use.

Do you travel a lot? Cordless curlers are great for your travel luggage, as many devices charge via a USB port. If the battery runs out on the road, you can simply plug in a power bank and keep curling.

Coating

Heat is often a must. It makes your hair malleable, but draws moisture out of it. The ceramic coating of the heating rods or plates ensures gentle styling. Ceramic distributes the heat evenly over the surface. This guarantees that no one area gets warmer than the other. This protects your hair from possible damage such as breakage.

A ceramic coating on the heating rods or plates makes your hair extra smooth and shiny. Ion technologies prevent frizz.

Some coatings contain additional substances such as creatine or tourmaline. This makes for particularly smooth and shiny curls. Ion technologies also lead to shiny hair. They prevent frizz due to electrostatic charge and close the scalp’s cuticle.

Curlers usually do not have a special coating. Because they are twisted into damp hair and then gently dried, they do not require any special heat protection. They are often made of plastic and some can even be worn overnight.

Bar diameter

Curlers are available with different bar diameters. These vary between 10 and 38 mm with many manufacturers. The thicker the curler, the larger the curls will be. Corkscrew curls can be achieved with smaller wand diameters.

With some curlers you can change the attachments. This saves you buying two curlers with different wand thicknesses and gives you more flexibility in use.

Curler sets offer you maximum flexibility when curling. They contain attachments with different wand diameters that you can change as needed.

Curling irons with a conical shape taper towards the end. If you wrap the strand of hair high up on the handle, you will create big waves. Small curls can be achieved at the end of the bar. This gives your strands a more varied twist and a more natural look. Perfect for variable and creative beach waves.

Functions

A curler with steam function can give you extra long-lasting curls. This hair-friendly method strengthens your style with steam. The hair is also provided with moisture, which is otherwise extracted from the strand by the heat of the curler.

A curler with steam function moisturises your hair. This method is particularly gentle on the hair.

If you want your hair to have even curls or waves, an integrated timer will help you. It emits beeps as soon as your set time is reached and the strand is completely curled. This can help with the desired intensity of the waves. Not all curlers have this timer function.

Wild curls or classy styling? Automatic curlers have the option of “turning in different directions”. It creates a more natural look by pulling your hair strands differently into the device. With classic curling irons or curlers, you have to do this yourself.

Curlers: Frequently asked questions and answers

In this section we want to give you the most important information about curlers. For this purpose, we have made a selection of questions in our guide. They will help you to know all the essential background information about curlers.

What is a curler?

A curler is a wand-shaped device that is used to curl strands of hair. Usually curlers are electrically operated and heated. The hair contains moisture that is extracted from it by heat. This is also how a curler works: if you wrap the strands of hair around the warm wand, they lose their moisture. Hydrogen bonds are created and fix the twisted shape of the strand.

Curler

Curlers conjure up all kinds of curls from straight hair. Elegant corkscrew curls or loose beach waves are no longer a problem. (Image source: Baylee Gramling / Unsplash)

The term “curler” is derived from English. Curls is the foreign word for “curls”, which in German means “curled hair”. The term is often equated with automatic curlers. Further research reveals that hot air brushes, curling irons or curlers are also called curlers.

What types of curlers are there?

When buying a curler, you can basically choose between five different types: the classic curler (curling iron), the automatic curler, the curler with 3 barrels, the curler with rotating brush (hot air brush) or the curler. Here you will find the most important advantages and disadvantages of each curler:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Automatic curler Little effort, Temperature control, No risk of burning the wand, Partly with steam or USB connection / rechargeable battery High weight, Expensive, No direct influence on thickness and direction of rotation of the curls
Curling iron Little effort, Temperature control, Control over thickness and direction of rotation of the curl, Partly interchangeable attachments Risk of hair damage or burning due to strong heat, Easily combustible
Curler with 3 barrels Versatile, Easy to curl instead of twist, Temperature control Heavy weight, Risk of burns, Glove needed, Time-consuming for long hair
Curler with rotating brush Dry and style at the same time, Gentle on hair, Inexpensive, Straightening and waves, Temperature control Only big waves, Shorter hold due to less heat
Curler Without heat, Soft waves and curls, Good hold in hair, Inexpensive, Partially bendable Time-consuming to twist in and dry hair, especially with thick or long hair

The automatic curler saves you a lot of time. Its curling chamber protects against burns from the wand. The temperature can also be regulated individually. Many automatic curlers have a steam function or are battery-operated. Although different directions of rotation of your hair can be set, you cannot directly influence the final result. These curlers are also more expensive and heavier than others.

The curling iron also creates great curls with little effort. You have full control over the thickness and direction of your hair strands. Some models allow you to change the rods for even more flexibility. Although the classic curler has a temperature control, you must be careful not to damage your hair or burn it if the heat is too high. There is also a risk of fire in the home.

The waving iron is versatile. You can create great curls and waves by simply wrapping it around the bars. Here, too, there are products with different temperature levels. The big disadvantage is the high risk of burns. Be sure to wear gloves when wrapping the strands of hair around the wand. This can be particularly time-consuming with long hair.

The hot air brush dries and styles your hair at the same time, whether straight or wavy is up to you. Its low temperature settings are particularly gentle on the hair. However, the curls lose their hold. Compared to other curling irons, the price of the curling iron is low.

Curler

Twist curlers into damp strands of hair and wait for your hair to dry. (Image source: Element5 Digital / Unsplash)

Curlers usually work without heat and create soft waves or curls. They provide a good hold on your hair. You can even sleep on bendable materials. The downside is the time it takes to curl your hair and wait for it to dry. With thick or long hair, this can be time-consuming.

How much does a curler cost?

Curlers come in a wide range of prices. Everything from a simple plastic curler to a luxury product is possible. The price range is between 10 euros for no-name products and 200 euros for more exclusive devices.

Type Price range
Automatic curler Circa 40 to 200 euros
Curler Circa 20 to 150 euros
Curler with 3 barrels Circa 20 to 100 euros
Curler with rotating brush Circa 15 and 50 euros
Curler Circa 10 to 20 euros

The automatic curling iron is considerably more expensive than other products, but it also has more functions. They are available in shops for between 40 and 200 euros. Most models are under 100 euros.

Classic curlers can cost up to 150 euros. As a rule, products from popular manufacturers cost between 20 and 50 euros. These are sufficient for normal use.

A curler with 3 barrels is not available from every manufacturer. The wave bars cost between 20 and 100 euros. More expensive ones can also be purchased here.

The hot air brush with rotating brush costs between 15 and 50 euros. It is often available with exchangeable attachments.

The curler is the cheapest alternative. You can buy curlers that are not heated for between 10 and 20 euros. Curlers that are heated before use are available from 20 euros.

What are the alternatives to a curler?

Curlers aren’t the only way to get beach waves or corkscrew curls. Here we present other options for curly hair styling.

Alternative Description
Straightener Straighteners can create big curls. To do this, wrap the strand of hair around the two heat plates at ear level and pull the straightener to the tip of the hair.
Braid hair Braid slightly damp hair and let it dry. When opened, waves will appear depending on the thickness of your braided hair strand.

Each alternative has its advantages, but curls with bounce are easier and quicker to achieve with curlers.

How do I use a curler properly?

There is a slight difference in the way curlers with and without heat are used. For electric curlers, follow these steps:

  • Preparation: Before you start, your hair must be dry. Many curlers have a ceramic coating, but you can spray them with heat protection spray for extra protection. It helps to blow dry your hair briefly to ensure that it is well absorbed. Then part your hair into individual strands. Use hairspray at the very end.
  • Twist: Once the curler is at the right temperature, you can use it. Twist each strand of hair in the desired direction. Now leave it on the wand for about 8 seconds. If you want to achieve big curls, the time can be shorter. In general, the hotter the wand and the longer you twist the strands around it, the more intense the result will be. Once all the strands are twisted, you can shake your hair out for a more natural look.

Curler

With the help of clips, you can divide your hair into strands even more easily. (Image source: congerdesgin / Pixabay)

Use curlers on damp hair. You also divide your hair into strands. Now twist the curler from the tip of the hair upwards and pin it in place. Once all the hair is dry, carefully twist the curler out. Style your hair with hair wax or hairspray.

Which curler is suitable for my hair?

Most curlers have a temperature control that is suitable for all hair types. Of course, choosing the right curler also depends on your preferences. Do you prefer small curls or big waves? Should it have additional functions like steam? Which wand length? Should it automatically twist strands of hair or do you want to wrap them around the wand? And many more ..

Curlers with lower temperatures are suitable for thin, fine or short hair. Temperatures up to 180 °C are suitable for this. Curls for this type of hair will of course also work with warmer wands, but too much heat will damage the hair.

For thick or long hair, you can increase the temperature up to 220 °C. Again, be careful not to break or burn your strands. Longer torsion bars save time, especially for long hairstyles.

For damaged hair, you can use curlers. These work without heat and are gentle on your hair.

Conclusion

Whether it’s a classic curling iron, automatic curler, wave iron, hot air brush or curler, a curler conjures up dream curls for every hair type when used correctly. Which curler is the right one depends on your hair structure and the desired end result.

Beach waves, big or small curls – you have to make this decision before you buy. Another criterion that should not be underestimated is the amount of time it takes to curl your hair in relation to the time you have available. If you use the curler very often, you can consider investing in a high-priced device. Even cheaper products deliver a great result. From now on, nothing can stop your curly look.

Photo source: Guzhva/ 123rf.com

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